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Nuts perfect for body builders!

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Nuts perfect for body builders!

5 Jul 2019
by Kevin
The days of ultra low-fat diets that starve the body of healthy nutrients are gone. Healthy fats are now considered a pillar of any healthy diet, and leading the charge into this new era are nuts.

Every year seems to bring new evidence that nuts are nature's most versatile, nutritionally balanced health food. And yet, they continue to be cast aside by many as fatty junk food. We must be nuts as a society not to shout the virtues of shelled snacks from the treetops!

The case for nuts doesn't end with fatty acids, which have been shown to help lower cholesterol levels among many other benefits. Nuts have also been shown to help provide an edge against stroke and type 2 diabetes, curb appetite, and encourage weight loss, as studies indicate that calories from nuts don't always correlate with the expected amount of weight gain. Nuts also give vegetarians a guiltless protein source that rivals any meat, and they mix well any number of diverse dishes.

However you spread it, nuts should be a part of a healthy diet plan. Here, then, are our top five, in no particular order:

1. Almonds
They're everywhere: in salads, on pizzas, as snacks with all manner of seasonings - they even have their own milk. With good reason: Almonds rank among the highest-protein nuts, but at a fraction of the price of some higher-end nuts like walnuts. Almonds are also high in manganese and vitamin E, vital defenders against oxidative damage.

Those who consume almonds on a regular basis are at lower risk for developing heart disease. One study even found they actually help lower elevated cholesterol.

2. Walnuts
The word superfood gets tossed around in respect to walnuts more than any other nut. This basically means while we now know walnuts are nutrient-packed, we're still in the process of discovering all the benefits they can bring.

3. Cashew Nuts
Cashews have a buttery, fatty flavor that puts them right up with macadamias as the most feared nuts. Fear not! Cashews are one of the most nutrient-rich nuts in the orchard, with plenty of iron, zinc, and trace minerals. A 1 oz serving provides nearly a quarter of your daily phosphorus requirements!

The calories add up quickly when snacking on cashews, but it's worth noting that a recent study found that weight-loss diets that allow nuts have greater compliance among dieters, and better results, than diets that don't!

4. Pistachios
Pistachios are often dismissed as diet busters, but these nuts provide clear health benefits.

Pistachios are lower per-nut in calories than other nuts, but are quite high in protein and fiber. They also shine in vitamin B6 content, providing 18 percent of daily requirements, whereas most other nuts fall below five percent of that metric.

5. Peanuts
Sometimes you learn as an adult that you had it right as a kid. That bag of nuts is definitely the healthiest thing you can eat at the ballpark! Peanuts come in endless flavors and mixes of varying nutritional worth, but for many of us, they are still first and foremost the base of peanut butter. But not all peanut butters are created equal! When shopping, look for natural varieties with oil on top.

These varieties contain less sugar and added ingredients. Also consider making your own in your blender or food processor. It's easier than you think and there's no step down in taste. Peanuts are one of the great energy foods, no matter if you're an athlete or a desk-jockey trying to maintain focus through a long work day. They are high in protein, dietary fiber, and antioxidants.

Consuming peanuts also reduces the chances of stroke, as they increase your natural production of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels.

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